tv BBC World News PBS August 17, 2011 5:00am-5:30am EDT
>> and now, "bbc world news." >> more protests planned in india as a crusade against corruption mobilizes thousands. rebels in libya fight street by street to push government forces out of a key city. four years in jail for inciting a riot on facebook that never happened, are sentences in britain too harsh? welcome to "bbc world news," with me, peter dobbie. also in the next half-hour -- fears of a slowdown are worrying chinese firms that prepare for the christmas rush. are the perils of diving -- are the perils of driving a cool box? >> our top story this hour --
the indian prime minister, manmohan singh, has lashed out at the country's most prominent anti-corruption crusader who's refusing to leave jail until he's allowed to go ahead with a hunger strike at a city park. thousands of protesters in cities across india have come out in support of anna hazare, who began fasting behind bars. he's demanding the government overhaul anti-corruption laws, but mr. singh says his campaign is misconceived. in delhi, our correspondent, mark dummett. how is he managing to get so much popular support up and running, apparently so quickly? the word is spreading in a matter of hours. >> well, because his message is appealing to pretty much every union. i mean, the sense that corruption is running out of control is shared by most people in this country, a sense that corruption is the one issue that is really imperiling india's economic success. he's also a fairly sympathetic
figure. he's 74 years old, a former army driver. he's from a modest background who has been inspired by gandhi, this country's founding father. a lot of people have sympathy for him. when they saw him arrested yesterday morning by plainsclothes policemen from his front door before he could launch his protest, they went out on to the streets here in delhi and in cities up and down the country that really forced the government to the back, which is why last night we saw them ordering his release. but he wasn't prepared to go, because they set certain conditions on his release, basically saying he couldn't continue with his protests. but he said no, i want to go on my protest, i will carry on with my protest. >> thanks very much. well, our correspondent, rahul tandon, is in calcutta, where he's getting the same mass settlement there. >> he is getting it in
calcutta. we had groups of people gathering in all parts of the city, some of them very large, expressing their support for anna hazare. people are beginning to gather in the city center once again. you'll see that growing as people finish work. he really has struck a cord with the people here. talk to anybody on the streets of calcutta, and they, like the rest of india, will tell you that corruption is the issue that needs to be dealt with. people here are not sure if anna hazare can solve the problem, but they feel that his time is tackled, and many of them say it's ironic this man is using the gandhi tactics to force out the british to try to tackle india's number one problem at the moment. they're waiting to see how the government's going to respond. >> the government is in a precarious situation anyway, rahul. their options must be limited. >> they must be, i think. i think what we're beginning to see is the development of a people's movement. corruption is such a daily part of life here. i was talking to youngsters who live in a slum, and they say they want to join the police
force, but to do so, they have to pay huge sums of money, so the only way they can pay that back is to become corrupt themselves. it's something, as one person said to me, that has got into the bones of the indian system. it's a cancer in the system. people here want it removed now, and they're taking to the streets to show that this is a situation that they don't want to tolerate any longer. >> rahul tandon in calcutta. six months on from the first protest, rebels and government troops remain locked in fierce conflict. forces loyal to colonel gaddafi are battling for control of zawiya. both government and rebels claim to control the town. the rebles say they've cut major supply lines. senior figures in the u.s. government say colonel gaddafi's days are numbered. our correspondent in tripoli, matthew price, gave us this analysis of the current state of the conflict in libya. >> it's now six months to the day since the first protests against colonel gaddafi's rule here in libya, but it is now
half a year in essence of civil conflict and now civil war inside libya. and the assessments of the various players is very dramatic. the united states has said in the last 24 hours or so that they believe colonel gaddafi's days are numbered. the rebel forces are saying that they believe tripoli will fall and the regime here will fall before the end of august, or by the end of august, i should say. you have nato saying that its mission is continuing and they expect it to continue for some time. and then you have the libyan government, who is saying what i suppose you would expect them to say, but they are insisting that everything i just said is lies and that the libyan army is still strong, that it's going to take back those areas that were taken by rebel forces over the last few days and that colonel gaddafi will continue to rule this country. how to pick apart those various statements and try to get
somewhere to the truth is very tricky, although it is clear that the capital city and, therefore, the government and the gaddafi supporters and colonel gaddafi himself are under greater pressure than they have ever been in the last six months since this uprising started. tripoli is, to a certain extent, surrounded by rebel forces. we don't know how long they can hold on to those positions that they've gained in the last few days, if they can hold on to them. but if they can maintain control of the key coastal town, the town to the south, and places far to the east of tripoli, then tripoli is isolated, and one would have to assume that that is going to make it very difficult indeed for the gaddafi regime, both to strike back and to find a way of winning this conflict. >> matthew price. the syrian president, bashar assad, is losing the "last
shreds of his ledgetsmeas." the u.s. government is pushing for more international action. syrian government forces have been carrying out brutal assaults on a port city with the use of gun boats and tanks. from neighboring lebanon, here's jim muir. >> three days under fire, and attacked by army troops backed by tanks and also by gun boats off shore according to activists, they say the army is clashing with what it calls armed terrorist groups. activist organizations say the situation in the district and neighboring areas is getting desperate with 100 badly wounded people needing urgent medical attention. part of the area under attack is a palestinian refugee camp. thousands of palestinians have thread, some are among the killed and injured. the palestinian leadership is concerned.
>> the shelling is taking place using gunships and tanks on houses built from tents, from people who have no place to run to or even a shelter to hide in for safety from these actions. >> this is a crime against humanity, and we at the same time share it with the syrian people, the same goals and aspirations to achieve freedom and dignity. >> strong words from the people who calls the syrian regime claim to champion. the united nations is also frustrated. >> we need to be able to tend to the sick, the dying, women and children. but to begin with, we need to know where they are, so we need access, which is something we're calling urgently on the syrian regime to give us. >> but president assad has been turning a deaf ear to outside appeals throughout the uprising. the turkish foreign minister met him a week ago and says the violence has intensified since then. he said if it doesn't stop immediately and unconditionally, turkey will
take steps, though he didn't say what. what syria has done to try to ease the pressure is to stage highly publicized troop withdrawals, first from hama, and now from the east. but these are cosmetic moves which don't affect the overall picture on the ground, where demonstrations are breaking out and being repressed in dozens of places every day. jim muir, bbc news, beirut. >> time for business news. how are the markets reacting to what angela merkel and nicolas sarkozy were talking about yesterday? up, down? >> basically down. not a great reaction to the press conference and to anything that came out of the meeting between chancellor merkel and president sarkozy. one reaction, though, quite a big negative reaction, are the operations of the stock market, some of the stock markets, the deutsche boerse, of course, in germany, as well as the london stock exchange, they're falling.
deutsche boerse down around 6%. some of europe's biggest banks down. this is because one thing that did come out is this renewal about a tax on financial transactions. now, that, of course, would hit banks, hit stock exchanges if they had to pay a tax on every time they sold the shares, it would also basically curb operations in many ways, at least curb trade. on top of that, ireland is opposed to any tax on financial transactions unless it is e.u.-wide, although dublin's got its own problems, because they also renewed the calls to harmonize corporate tax across the eurozone. ireland is stuck on a great competitive advantage. it doesn't want to lose that. it may have to. we'll have to wait and see. >> we'll talk later in 20 minutes. >> absolutely. we'll also talk about s.a.p.
miller. they're going hostile with the foster's bid. >> foster's being the beer? >> the brewer, yes. >> ok. talk to you later. some news just in -- eight turkish soldiers have been killed in the southeast of the country, according to officials and local media. several others were reported injured in the attack in the province close to the border with iraq. the reuters news agency is reporting that the troops were killed by a bomb. another report describing it as an ambush. 13 soldiers and seven other people were killed. the u.s. vice president, joe biden, will arrive in china later today on a five-day visit. the economic crisis in the u.s. has had a big impact on their export industry. mr. biden will likely focus on ways the two countries can overcome the recession. martin patience comes from eastern china, where manufacturers are worried about the future. >> it may be the middle of the summer, but china's already gearing up for christmas. retail buyers from around the world flock here to choose this
year's decorations. this saleswoman shows me her company's bestseller. despite the bleak global outlook, she says business is better than last year. >> we have already the customers, and we move with the times. christmas is still a spring festival in china. everyone needs to celebrate it. >> christmas isn't marked here, but the celebrations are crucial to china. this economy thrives on selling goods around the world. but the u.s. has long complained that beijing is having a party at its expense. china exports far more to the u.s. than it buys in return. washington wants to reduce its huge trade deficit. >> china has gotten richer and people have more money and more
people can buy goods and services from america that are made and produced in america. what china would like is for america to get out of recession and for the export orders to start coming back to chinese manufacturers so that they can start making money. >> as the world's largest exporter, many chinese manufacturers are worried. this factory saw its profits drop 30% during the global financial crisis. the company said it's now better placed to deal with any economic down turn. >> we're paying more attention to reduce our reliance on exports. in the last year, we've seen domestic sales go up by 30%. this way we can deal with the global down turn. >> but consumers here can't match the spending fund in the west. china is hungry for more. it wants to become richer. but the jobs of these workers will continue to depend upon
american demands. martin patience, bbc news, eastern china. >> you're watching "bbc world news." coming up -- delving deep into secrets of paris. we discover the streets beneath the streets. >> a new project has launched today to help restore some of britain's most vulnerable habitats, wild flower meadows. researchers will work with commercial growers, conservation groups, and land owners to re-create meadows by collecting seeds from native plants species and growing them into bigger stocks. scientists are looking at why some meadows are difficult to re-establish. >> researchers collect wild flower seeds at a nature reserve. what they want to do is multiply seeds they gather here and to learn more about species in this rare meadow tab hat that is difficult to grow and collect. >> we're collecting species
which are not easily picked up in a machine harvest, so things that are ripe very late or early in the season, things that they have problems germinating. we can pick up those and do research work on them. >> the project is part of the millennium seed bank, where they already store 96% of the native plant species, but they now want to use their expertise to help build up wild flower stock. in part, that will happen in production beds like these, and together with commercial growers who can bulk the seeds up, the new u.k. seeds will help to restore habitats. though the focus at first will be on lowland meadows, attention will move to other habitats, 40 in all, including woodland. >> a british man has been killed in a shark attack while
on his honeymoon. 30-year-old ian was snorkeling off the island when he was attacked. the authorities have issued a temporary ban on swimming in the area, where there was another fatal attack on a diver two weeks ago. that story, along with all our top stories, on the website, bbc.com/news. this is "bbc world news" from london. i'm peter dobbie. these are the top stories. protests across india in support of a jailed anti-corruption campaigner who's on hunger strike. and libyan rebels are fighting government forces to control a key coastal city which lies just 50 kilometers from the capital. >> time for the sports news. there have been many famous excuses for failing a drug test, now we're going to talk about one american athlete particularly good excuse or bad
excuse, depending upon which way you're coming. >> before we come to sean merritt, who won the title in beijing in 2008, let me take to you some other excuses. a spiked drink, spiked toothpaste, too much sex and beer the night before a race, that was the american sprinter dennis mitchell, a twin who died in utero, tyler hamilton's excuses for foreign cells found in his body, kissing a girl who had taken cocaine, richard gasquet. some of these may well be true. but sean merritt said he failed the test, after a suspension, and he said the steroids found in his system was due to a male enhancement product. he said the humiliation he feels is the worst thing about this, and the story is an interesting one, because the u.s. olympic committee is going to the court of arbitration this wednesday to try to overturn the international olympic committee's ruling, which states that any athlete who served more than six months for a suspension is not allowed
to compete in the subsequent olympics after that ban has been served, and the americans would like potentially, if merritt is selected, to include him in the london olympic squad. so if that ruling, the verdict will come from switzerland in september, if it's shown to be in favor of merritt, then many people who have cheated will then feel that they'll be able to compete in the olympics. >> i want to ask to you explain the male enhancement product, but i just googled it, and i don't think i've got to right now. moving on to tennis. >> roger federer, he's not in the best form of his life. formerly unbeatable, and now a mere human being with a racket in his hand. and juan martin del potro, on the far side of the net here, in 2009, he stopped federer winning a sixth consecutive u.s. open title. the argentine won his grand slam in 2009, but federer in the first match since that final in new york, beating del
potro. this is the second round of the cincinnati masters, federer a long way to go before he wins the event, where he is the defending champion. >> you're back with sport today? >> yeah. >> talk to you then. some british m.p.'s say some of the sentences given to those involved in the riots in england are too harsh. on tuesday, two men were jailed for four years for use field goal to incite riots which never happened. many of the cases arising from last week's riots are now ending up in courts, where judges have bigger sentencing powers. jordan and perry, both in their 20's, have separately used facebook to encourage disorder. though no one turned out, the police did, and yesterday a judge jailed them each for four years, expressing their hope that the sentences would act as a deterrent. >> the young men involved were inciting a riot, trying to
organize the sort of mayhem that we saw in the streets eight nights ago, which would have put lives at risk. and at the very least, they distracted the police from trying to deal with that crisis and put a lot of fear into people. >> but they said though the riots were generally an aggravating factor, some of the sentences being handed out seem disproportionate, views shared by some m.p.'s. >> this should be about restoring justice, in other words, making people acknowledge the offenses they have committed and preferably if victims want it, actually sit down face to face with the victims so they can hear from the victims, the impact they have had, but it should not be about retribution. >> it's expected many cases from the riots will go to appeal, but the prosecution service has defended the judge in the facebook case, saying that messages sent have caused panic and revulsion. john andrews, bbc news.
>> the murdoch media empire is in the spotlight once again today. fresh allegations have emerged that senior executives at the now-defunct tabloid newspaper did discuss phone hacking on a daily basis. >> national executives, including rupert and james murdoch, and the former news of the world editor andy coulson, face fresh allegations of dishonesty and a coverup. a letter to news international written four years ago by former clive goodman appealing against his dismissal alleged senior figures knew exactly what was going on. mr. goodman, who was jailed for hacking, said the practice was widely discussed at the paper until explicit reference to it was banned by the editor. >> i can only assume there's been a coverup. this letter is absolutely devastating. clive goodman's testimony shows that he believes that every member of the editorial team was aware of phone hacking and
the police were not told about it. >> andy coulson was the paper's editor between 2003 and 2007 and quit following goodman's conviction. but the letter does not reveal the date of these discussions or name those involved. news international says it's working in a constructive and open way with all the relevant authorities. the commons culture committee is expected to recall james murdoch to ask more questions on what he knew about hacking. and there have again been questions over david cameron's judgment in hiring andy coulson as his communications chief, a role he stepped down from earlier this year. ashleigh mcveigh, bbc news. >> underneath paris is tunnels carrying everything from water to trains. but under the feet of the people of paris is the most complicated system of tunnels ever seen.
>> from an underground car park down steep, hidden steps, entire descending into the bulls of paris. this is one of the densest underground networks in the world with 180 miles of intricate tunnels. we're exploring a city beneath a city. >> some light coming here. >> the well shaft dropped 40 meters from the manhole covers above. the tunnels were mined for the limb stone from which paris is built. >> but imagine the horrendous conditions in which those who dug this labyrinth of corridors must have worked, operating down here from morning until night in high humidity. in those days, they couldn't afford to retire. they came down here at a young age, and they worked until they dropped, and very often, they worked in the dark. no one realized how porous the
foundations of paris had become, not until 1774, when suddenly one of these chambers collapsed, swallowing an entire neighborhood above it. in response, king louis xvi commissioned an architect to explore and reinforce the tunnels. every chamber was mapped and a name given to the corresponding street above it. down here, you have a mirror image of renaissance paris. this street is still here? >> this street is still here, but wider. >> on one wall, there's the fleur-de-lis of the king. on another, post-revolution is scratched out. >> you can see each part is checked, so if they saw the beginning of the falling roof, they could do something, prepare. >> since 1965, this has been closed to the public, but there is one section that remains open, the catacombs. at the time guillermo was
strengthening the tunnels, louis was closing the overcrowded cemeteries. the ex-humingses went on for years until all the bodies were re-entered in the empire of the dead. it's a very different ex-curgs. -- excursion. >> what do you think? >> it's scary. >> victor once described the tunnels beneath paris as the city, magnificent. the millions who visit the city of light each year may beg to differ, but then, they know very little of her dark secrets. >> now here's a sight police don't see every day, an australian lost his life after being found guilty of drunk driving a cool box. he recorded a blood alcohol reading more than three times the legal limit. christopher put an engine on the cool box. he decided to take it for a test run after several drinks. he said he didn't realize it
would be classified as a vehicle. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global financial strength to work for a wide range of